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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Tuesday 18th of January 2022

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And there you have it, the market is now pricing that Fed Funds will be at 100bp, by end-2022. @jnordvig
World Of Finance


Optimal monetary policymaking would be to front load the 100bp in Q1 

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Drinking the Kool-Aid
World Of Finance

“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.” ― Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

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Ṣafwān ibn Idrīs (of Murcia in the late 12th century) fairly burns the page with desire in his poem My Beautiful One, which concludes:

Once I went out with her when the
shelter of night and her cape
let me mingle the fire of my breath
with the fire of her flaming cheeks.

I clasped her as a miser clasps
his treasure, and bound her tightly
with the cords of my arms
lest she escape like a gazelle.

But my chastity did not permit me
to kiss her mouth
and my heart remained huddled
over its embers.

You may well marvel at one
who feels his entrails on fire
yet complains of thirst
while holding the quenching water
in his throat.

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And the torment of parting is laid bare in Leavetaking, by Ibn Jākh (of Badajoz in the 11th century), which closes with the lines:

Beneath the veils
tears crept like scorpions
over the fragrant roses
of their cheeks.

These scorpions do not harm
the cheek they mark.
They save their sting
for the heart of the sorrowful lover. 

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But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola

“But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -guessed and refused to believe -that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return.’’

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China’s Surveillance State Will Test The West @NoemaMag
Law & Politics

When foreign athletes and select visitors arrive in China for the upcoming Winter Olympics, they will have the option of using China’s new central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

The e-RMB, or e-CNY, is as a convenient alternative to the familiar paper redback, the RMB. 

The move is part of a long running effort to internationalize China’s currency, but it is also central to a broader campaign for control that has rapidly moved from the analog to the digital realm, the subject of my recent book “Retrofitting Leninism.”

China’s rulers have long sought to optimize authoritarian control. These aspirations have typically manifested in coercion of the physical world, from labor camps to closed borders to mismanagement in the economic realm, where crises and shortfalls abound. 

In today’s China, control is increasingly exercised in the digital domain, where over one billion internet users — and nearly as many surveillance cameras — are networked into a sprawling system of monitoring and intimidation.

Heterodox economists like Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises have long argued that control regimes are bound to stumble due to their inability to collect all the information needed to make optimal decisions and the computational complexity of processing the information they have — challenges that that only a liberal society and free market can resolve. 

Indeed, central leaders still struggle with data fabrication and information hoarding across China’s vast administrative structure. 

Even in areas where micromanagement is strong, anecdotal evidence suggests attention remains as ever on loyalty, not efficiency.

The political mood of the present need not distract from the technological prospects of the future. 

China’s leaders are growing increasingly confident they can resolve the computational problems of managing a complex society without letting go of control. 

In recent years, authorities have overcome some top-down information gaps by enlisting the help of average citizens who volunteer bottom-up input, investing in centralized databases, and rapidly expanding artificial intelligence.

Now China is attempting to centralize digital control over financial transactions. The impending introduction of electronic currency will give China’s government unprecedented ability to track individual and institutional transactions. 

In the not-so-distant future, China’s government will not only have insight into how the people spend scarce resources — it will also have the vision to decide who deserves more and who will settle for less.

Most in the West are instinctively appalled at this dystopian prospect. Yet, retrofitting China’s analog system of control with technologies that facilitate both information aggregation and information processing could well allow it to avoid the pitfalls that made the Leninist model fail so miserably during the Soviet industrial age — and could place China ahead of the curve in strategic competition with the West.

The Computational Problem

Leninist organizations are bulky, bureaucratic and paternalistic by design. They are constructed in the belief that a single, vanguard party is uniquely positioned to internalize the preferences of the masses and mobilize their potential through policy. 

At its core, this belief is grounded in the assumption that an ideal organization can access and process all the information needed to exercise optimal political, social and economic planning. 

The hubris of this assumption manifested in both the murderous totalitarianism of Stalin and the chaotic revolutionism of Mao — leaders who were both frustrated by the challenge of informed control and thus opted for violence instead.

Versions of the information problem appear in standard critiques of authoritarianism. 

It is widely held, for instance, that authoritarian systems are less desirable, less enduring and less productive than their liberal peers. 

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen observes that authoritarian regimes lack the incentive or the infrastructure necessary for “enhancing the hearing that people get in expressing and supporting their claims,” the absence of which prevents government from acting in a responsive or accountable manner.

While some autocracies have tried to overcome these shortcomings by adopting the flawed trappings of democracy — rigged elections, weak legislatures and partial civil liberties — 

democracy purists like Larry Diamond contend that “it is just not possible in our world of mass participation and democratic consciousness to give people the right to think, speak, publish, demonstrate and associate peacefully, and not have them use those freedoms to demand as well the right to choose and replace their leaders in free and fair elections.”

As time goes on and technological connectivity advances, such critiques are coming into question. 

Popular autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appear quite attuned to public sentiment, if only to exploit it for short-term political reasons. 

For its part, China’s one-party government often comes across as hypersensitive to public opinion, citizen complaints and social media sentiment. 

As the Australian political scientist John Keane has noted, China’s leaders are so fearful of the loss of control that comes along with democracy that, paradoxically, they act like elected officials in the West who constantly plumb the public mood in the hope of winning the proverbial ballot.

This may be so, but governance demands more than pandering to populism. In particular, the computational complexity of micromanaging a political economy presents the autocrat with a predicament. 

Autocrats can constrain economic actors, hobble their administrations and suppress citizen voice in an effort to simplify their computational problems. 

Unfortunately, the more the regime coerces down these problems, the more corrupted a system it is left with, thus contributing to the loss of control that coercion was meant to tame.

In extremis, we have seen such tragedies transpire countless times, from the disaster of the Great Leap Forward under Mao or even today as North Korea is, not for the first time, on the brink of famine. 

One need not invoke crisis to appreciate the inefficiencies of control. 

In China, for instance, customs borders and strict capital controls make it easier for the state to collect taxes and restrict capital outflow, but they also reveal limitations in the state’s ability to collect a more diverse array of domestic revenue or regulate a more dynamic domestic financial industry.

If an authoritarian regime relinquishes some control, say to the market, it can free itself from complex computational challenges like setting prices. 

While this may result in a more vibrant economy, it comes at the cost of governance challenges by proliferating nodes of power outside the control capacity of the regime. 

The Soviet Union, for instance, collapsed in part due to its failure in managing an energized economy. 

For its part, China’s central government still struggles on issues like preventing local government debt from seeping into a bloated banking system or in getting companies to comply with environmental regulations.

Thanks in part to the advent of digital technology, however, China’s leaders are now at a point where they believe they have the tools to overcome and move past the computational challenge of managing ever more complexity by deepening control through connectivity.

Control As A Means And An End

Digital control in China operates as a dual-use technology — repressive in a security sense but progressive from a socialist one. 

On the one hand, it serves a conventional coercive function by keeping tabs on 1.4 billion people and letting them know it.

On the other, it facilitates public polling, responsiveness, oversight and probabilistic forecasting enabled by massive caches of aggregated data on individual and group-level behavior.

Smartphones and facial recognition, for instance, make it near impossible for dissidents or protesters to organize; they also make it easier to fine jaywalkers or redirect traffic in case of a jam. 

Public complaints about corruption can be weaponized for political purges, but they are also a tool against self-serving officials who embezzle or waste public funds. 

Social credit scores will help the state coerce a preferred form of citizenship, but they also help alleviate mistrust and risk in China’s unruly consumer market.

China’s Surveillance State Will Test The West @NoemaMag [continued]

“Digital control in China operates as a dual-use technology.”

This is hardly a perfect system. The information generated through public polls or online complaints is bound by perceptions about what the state deems appropriate, rightful and legitimate. 

Even the passive surveillance provided by hidden algorithms will be biased by the conscious or subconscious self-censorship of their unwitting victims. Social credit scores can and will be exploited.

Yet, the system, so to speak, does not seem to care. And it is not obvious why it should. It cares less about nuance and more about deviations of any kind that would escape the cosseted design of society imposed by the Party’s vision. 

Just as a bat need not see the color of its prey to know exactly where or how to catch it, the CCP cares little about why the public prefers one policy over another or whether the dangerous dissident was in fact a constructive critic.

In other words, the CCP operates in a system of echoes in which the data points of individual behavior, crude as they may be, add up in large numbers and offer the regime a remarkably detailed picture from which to exert control — or what it calls “stability.”

The Allure Of Control

All authoritarian regimes have a predilection for control, but today’s PRC has a particularly strong affinity, and experience has only bolstered its appetite.

As millions of protesters gathered across various parts of China in the spring of 1989, there was a palpable sense that the regime was about to collapse. 

Indeed, given the diverse range of groups attending — from students to soldiers — it was hard to imagine how it could be otherwise. 

Nevertheless, with a brute show of force, the CCP leadership reasserted control to such an extent that it felt comfortable proceeding in earnest with some of the same reforms — price liberalization and mass layoffs — that had helped precipitate the protests in the first place.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, residency controls allowed China’s new capitalists to exploit hundreds of millions of migrants without the mass slums and labor market shocks that have accompanied similar population flows in countries like India and Brazil. 

When the global financial crisis struck in 2007, these same residency controls made it easier for idle migrants in the cities to return to the countryside, while rigid capital controls shielded financial institutions from some of the volatility. 

Most recently China has proven almost uniquely capable of controlling the spread of the coronavirus, despite the risks posed by its large and densely packed urban centers.  

These triumphs have emboldened the regime to pursue further controls, digital and analog, across more and more platforms, from restrictions on entertainment and education to regulatory crackdowns on national champions in the corporate sector.

The Costs Of Control

Time and again, the CCP has proven remarkably willing to let the economy and citizens absorb the costs of control. 

Such developments should be seen not so much as miscalculations on the part of administrators but as a testament to their tolerance for inflicting damage on their own economy in the service of control.

Recent regulatory crackdowns, for instance, have wiped more than 1 trillion dollars in market value from the books of leading Chinese tech companies. 

Investigations into the banking system are thought to have accelerated a looming default in one of the country’s largest property firms, Evergrande. 

Most recently, large swaths of the country have fallen under electricity blackouts due in part to national efforts at reducing emissions in China’s exceedingly dirty energy sector.

These costs are not trivial. State censorship over China’s media, for instance, has undercut the country’s soft power abroad. 

The China Global Television Network (CGTN), China’s flagship international network, commands only a fraction of the audience enjoyed by Qatar’s Al Jazeera English. 

It is only reasonable to expect that the CCP’s increased assault on scholars and entrepreneurs will have a similar effect on China’s research and innovation potential.

The CCP may be increasingly inclined to impose costly controls because it feels powerful enough to reap the political benefits while socializing the economic costs. 

Some of this attitude is on display in the form of good old-fashioned coercive redistribution — take, for example, the new “Common Prosperity” campaign, which obliges China’s rich and powerful to give away portions of their fortune to the poor and up-and-coming.

Another possibility is that the regime feels competent enough to trade off the costs of control against potential efficiency gains on offer. 

Take, for instance, recent anti-monopoly controls in China’s predominantly private big-tech sector — a drama which, by the way, is also playing out in the United States and Europe. 

One big risk here is that government intervention will deter private investment and innovation and, in China’s case, cede opportunities to less efficient state-run firms. 

But what if the tech-enhanced Chinese state now feels competent enough to direct capital into productive state ventures on-par with or better than private hands?

Naturally, the computational problem comes to the fore here and the empirical record continues to show that state planning consistently underperforms market forces. Yet, markets are not perfect. 

As recent supply chain failures and the compounding tragedy of climate change make clear, markets have a hard time absorbing shocks and pricing externalities. 

Even in the best of times, market transactions suffer the inefficiencies of unwanted variability, or what the Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman refers to simply as “noise.”

Cashless Communism

In 2010, cash made up more than half of all economic transactions in the U.S. Today that figure is about a quarter and falling. 

In China, cash is disappearing at a faster rate. According to the 2020 McKinsey Global Payments Report, cash in China declined from over 99% of transactions to 41% over the last 10 years.  

Nevertheless, most transactions are still handled by traditional finance with fees and delays that disproportionately hurt smaller transactions and the poor who make them. 

In both countries, however, digital currencies are poised to take over and disrupt. Depending on how this transition occurs, it will either deepen the chasm between the two economies or place them on trajectories that will make it increasingly hard to differentiate one from the other.

China has by and large chosen its path, piloting state-backed digital currency while laying waste to mining and finance activities tied to decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin

Unlike paper RMB, e-RMB operates around an immutable distributed ledger, making it both infinitely easier to track and impossible to corrupt, thus offering the CCP its preferred blend of capacity and control. 

Importantly, digital RMB will likely be highly attractive to China’s tech-savvy population — an e-RMB wallet app is already available in the Apple and Android stores.

Digitization makes it easier for China’s planners to optimize capital disbursements and micromanage transactions at home. 

When the Chinese government injected consumer stimulus in response to the large-scale COVID lockdown in the spring of 2020, it did so with time-sensitive digital vouchers that had to be spent on local goods and services. 

Soon, large amounts of digital transaction data and blockchain strategies will make it possible to train probabilistic models for selective stimulus to residents, targeted investment in public and private directed firms and even for pricing complex market externalities like carbon emissions.

Digital currency also offers safer vehicles for challenging the U.S. dollar abroad, such as by offering preferential financing to other countries using China’s Interbank Cross-Border Payment System (a competitor of the Belgian-based SWIFT system) or by invoicing trade via e-RMB smart contracts. 

To the extent that such a system gains traction, China’s central planners will see domestic fiscal control and international monetary influence grow in tandem.

In the U.S., pressure is also growing on the Fed, Treasury and regulators to jumpstart plans for a digital dollar — and there is growing indication that the powers that be are taking note. 

For some, like Fed Governor Christopher Waller, a dollar-based CBDC is unlikely, given the diffuse nature of American banking at the federal, commercial and regulatory levels. 

This may not be a big problem, so long as decentralized cryptocurrencies, as well as central bank-issued cryptos in other countries, remain notionally linked to the dollar. 

This status will, however, fade as digital transactions become less dependent on American financial infrastructure.

“Digital currency also offers safer vehicles for challenging the U.S. dollar abroad.”

This is where it gets more theoretical. A digital dollar would involve at least some Americans holding digital wallets directly with the Fed, substantially augmenting the central bank’s capacity to inject stimulus and allocate credit throughout the economy, not unlike China’s central bank aspires to do. 

Even so, it is unclear if the Fed could capitalize on such capacity given that it delegates nearly all financial activities to the private sector.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, all-powerful as it may be, is relatively ignorant about the average consumer, borrower or beneficiary. This is not for want of data. 

As Shoshana Zuboff argues in “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” information on the economic habits, wants and liabilities of everyday Americans is remarkably well registered and available, but the data is thoroughly commodified by and decentralized across commercial interests. A digital ledger run by the Fed could provide both means and motive to claw back some of that information.

While liberal values and small government principles are sure to stand in the way of Chinese-style financial monitoring in the U.S., a growing cacophony of health care claims, social spending programs and entitlements will offer a source of temptation. 

A single digital ledger would empower government agencies to directly distribute program funds to recipients; it would also give the state insight into how those resources are mobilized by recipients. 

Such concerns may have prompted Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., to recently opine that “we shouldn’t design a central bank digital dollar that allows the government to spy on Americans’ every transaction.”

More likely the U.S. will adopt a mixed strategy which sees a loosely controlled CBDC that operates in conjunction with traditional banks for the formal economy, alongside a loosely regulated but still decentralized blockchain cryptocurrency for the less formal economy.

Such an arrangement would serve as a nod to liberal values and may be enough to justify why the dollar ought to remain the international currency of reference, even as countries adopt more diverse baskets of reserve.

Then again, such a mixed strategy would mean that the Fed and U.S. policymakers would be competing against China with one hand tied behind their back. When push comes to shove, and with technology at hand, America’s leaders may learn to love control just as much as China’s.

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They now turn to rule over the people by means of what could be dubbed "big data totalitarianism" and WeChat terror. @ChinaFile #COVID19
Law & Politics

You will all be no better than fields of garlic chives, giving yourselves up to being harvested by the blade of power, time and time again. @ChinaFile #COVID19
[ “garlic chives,” Allium tuberosum, often used as a metaphor to describe an endlessly renewable resource.]
What is thriving, however, is all that ridiculous ―Red Culture and the nauseating adulation that the system heaps on itself via shameless pro-Party hacks who chirrup hosannahs at every turn @ChinaFile #COVID19

05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang

China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile device locations, and official records to identify targets for detention.
Xinjiang is surely a precursor for how the CCP will manage dissent. 

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Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from Home Front International Media Domain ‘Scientific’ domain
Law & Politics

Xi Jinping has exhibited Chinese dominance over multiple theatres from the Home Front, the International Media Domain,  the ‘’Scientific’’ domain over which he has achieved complete ownership and where any dissenting view is characterized as a ‘’conspiracy theory’’

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The #Omicron surge is creating unprecedented levels of transmission: the daily infections are estimated to have reached 125 million, ten times the #Delta wave peak in April 2021. @IHME_UW @AliHMokdad

29-NOV-2021 ::  Regime Change


The Invisible Microbe has metastasized into Omicron and what we know is that COVID-19 far from becoming less virulent has become more virulent.
The transmissibility of #Omicron is not in question, it clearly has a spectacular advantage.
The Open Question is whether it is more virulent. If it is less virulent then #Omicron is breaking the Trend of increasing virulence.

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Global mortality is at where it was 2 months ago, but it IS rising again @fibke

.@c_drosten H/T @Rossana38510044

It's different with Sars-Cov-2, it's a completely new virus for the population. 

An increase in transmissibility of 30 or 40 percent, as shown by individual Sars-Cov-2 variants, does not exist with influenza. 

This extraordinarily strong increase in the transferability of alpha, delta and omicron simply speaks against previous experience.

Alpha and Delta were fitness jumps. The virus has adapted better to humans and optimized its transmissibility. 

That was surprising because the virus had already started in spring 2020 with a very good level of transmissibility, which hardly changed in 2020.
It was only shortly before Christmas 2020 that the signals came from England that Alpha was showing a fitness increase. 

Omicron, on the other hand, is an immune escape variant that somewhat avoids protection through vaccination or infection with other Sars-CoV-2 variants.

This is in response to developing population immunity. I expected that to happen at some point, but not so soon. Now it happened at the end of 2021.

As soon as larger parts of a population become immune, the virus comes under pressure. It has to react – with an immune escape variant

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Tweet Thread @CharlesRixey

01-MAR-2020 :: The Origin of the #CoronaVirus #COVID19

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10-MAY-2020 It‟s tragic surrealism ... I can‟t stop thinking about Gabriel García Márquez when I think about the situation Manaus is facing.

―In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.
A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.
But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.139855
Dollar Index 95.333
Japan Yen 114.7740
Swiss Franc 0.9152969
Pound 1.363665
Aussie 0.719475
India Rupee 74.38750
South Korea Won 1190.045
Brazil Real 5.5172142
Egypt Pound 15.724100
South Africa Rand 15.44020

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FACT-CHECK: Oil & gas are now now only 15% of Russia’s (official) GDP (so even lower, in reality). @27khv
Emerging Markets

The country is the world's biggest grain exporter, 2nd in weapon’s exports, the largest exporter of complex nuclear reactors.
2/3rds of Russia's economy is actually services.

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Sri Lanka economists tell government to default on bond, buy food @NikkeiAsia
Emerging Markets

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka's top economists and business leaders are urging President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's government to default on a debt repayment next week and to use the nation's foreign currency reserves to buy fuel, food, medicine and other essentials.
Ajith Nivard Cabraal, governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on Jan. 5 tweeted that the CBSL has allocated $500 million for an International Sovereign Bond maturing on Tuesday. 

Since the announcement, many experts have come out against the allocation.
Shanta Devarajan, a former World Bank chief economist from Sri Lanka, suggested that the island's acute shortage of foreign currency reserves is exacerbating everyday problems like long lines to buy cooking gas, rapidly rising food prices, more frequent power outages and a lack of powdered milk, a staple in a hot, tropical country where many homes do not have refrigerators and millions of people thirst for milk tea.
"This $500 million could enable people, especially poor people, to buy and cook food for themselves and their children," Devarajan wrote in the DailyFT, a Sri Lankan newspaper. 

"Instead, the government is choosing to reimburse bondholders, who are hardly poor."
Following a $1.5 billion currency swap with China, Sri Lanka in December managed to boost its reserves to $ 3.1 billion. 

According to Fitch Ratings, that's just enough. The agency says Sri Lanka has $3 billion worth of foreign currency debt repayments coming due during the first quarter of this year.

Vish Govindasamy, chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has taken a similar position as Devarajan. 

Rather than use foreign reserves to service debt, Govindasamy told the DailyFT that the government should find a way to restructure its debt so the country's foreign currency inflows can go toward essentials, thus easing the plight of Sri Lankans.

He also warned that with tourism being a primary foreign exchange earner, Sri Lanka cannot afford to tell the world -- and thus potential foreign arrivals -- that it has run out of food. Sending such a message "will only be counterproductive," Govindasamy said.
On Thursday, many parts of the country, including Colombo, suffered a long blackout after the state-owned Kelanitissa Power Station ran out of fuel. 

The Ceylon Electricity Board said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had not provided the utility with the fuel needed to operate the plant.
A. Wijewardena, a former central bank deputy governor, compared Sri Lanka's situation to a double-edged sword, one that will be fatal to everybody if not handled properly. 

"Sri Lanka has an unblemished record of debt repayment but in the present conditions of near-zero forex reserves, it may not be able to keep that record anymore," he told Nikkei Asia.
Wijewardena said next week's repayment is only one commitment Sri Lanka faces in its balance of payments crisis, and that once it is met, the nation will have to figure out how to pay for imports of necessities and make service payments.
Next week's repayment "is a choice among alternatives," Wijewardena said, and a "choice which has to be made with careful analysis."
Anila Dias Bandaranaike, a former assistant governor at the central bank, has warned of possible food riots if Sri Lanka runs out of foreign reserves with which to import food. 

She said last year's ban on imports of chemical fertilizer -- which was costing Sri Lanka $400 million annually -- has resulted in low crop yields. 

Available foreign currency reserves "must be used to meet essential needs, not to repay $500 million [in] debt maturing next week," she told a local newspaper.
However, Dulindra Fernando, managing director of Ceylon Asset Management, said the calls by business leaders and economists are "politically motivated and frivolous." 

He said the government's political opponents have been hollering about a default for the past three months.
"Now that the government is honoring [the debt], the same economists want the government to default or seek a restructure," he told Nikkei. 

"It's frivolous because it irresponsibly neglects the vast cost of default to Sri Lanka. vs. the manageable ISB settlement amounts. Sri Lanka has an impeccable credit record since independence, and [the] opposition now realizes this is the best opportunity to destabilize the government."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, S&P Global Ratings downgraded Sri Lankan debt to CCC from an earlier CCC+ with a negative outlook, sending it deeper into junk territory.

So the first overarching Point, is that creditors are not Santa Claus and miscues will exact a very heavy price, Countries will be "Hambantota-ed"

23-SEP-2019 :: "If you want peace and security for your facilities and towers made of glass that cannot withstand one drone, then leave Yemen alone" which streamed into my consciousness.

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Current data from South Africa suggests Omicron may have a longer delay to mortality than Delta @yaneerbaryam

Current data from South Africa indicates continuing increase in mortality long after they would be expected to decline from the peak of cases. This suggests Omicron may have a longer delay to mortality than Delta

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Tanzania, Burundi Sign $900 Million Railway Deal to Boost Trade @markets

Tanzania and Burundi have signed an agreement to build a $900 million railway that will connect the neighboring East African nations.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a 282-kilometer (175-mile) line from the western Tanzanian town of Uvinza to Burundi’s capital Gitega

Finance and transport ministers from the two countries signed the deal in the western Tanzanian town of Kigoma on Sunday, Tanzania’s finance ministry said in a statement.
Tanzania, which wants to become a regional trade and transport hub, is building a standard gauge railway line to connect the port of Dar es Salaam to landlocked neighbors, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The two governments will jointly seek financing for the railway, Tanzania Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said, adding that the final cost “will likely not exceed $900 million.” 

He didn’t provide details on the source of financing.

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.@Tesla -Mozambique-Australia graphite deal @republic H/T @lajohnstondr

Tesla will obtain the graphite from its mine in Balama, Mozambique. 

The agreement suggests that starting in 2025, Tesla will purchase 80% of the plant's output, which is 8,000 tonnes of graphite each year, according to AP News. 

Syrah will have to demonstrate that the material fits Tesla's requirements. Graphite holds lithium in a battery until it's time to break it into charged ions and electrons to generate electricity.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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January 2022

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